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Influence of Cyclic Stretch on Mechanical Properties of Endothelial Cells

Javad Hatami; Tafazzoli-Shadpour, M.; Haghighipour, N.; Shokrgozar, M.A.

Experimental Mechanics , 53(8) (2013), 1291-1298

The aim of this study was to investigate effects of cyclic stretch on the mechanical properties of Endothelial cells (ECs). Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells were cultured and exposed to uniaxial cyclic stretch with two amplitude (10 % and 20 %) and different time duration (2, 4, 6 and 8 h). Micropipette aspiration technique coupled with the generalized Maxwell model was used to evaluate the mechanical properties of the ECs. Effects of cyclic stretch on the cell cytoskeleton were analyzed by actin filament staining. Results confirmed viscoelastic behavior of ECs in the micropipette aspiration experiment. The present results confirmed that increased stretch amplitude and duration led to lower deformation and further stiffening of ECs. Actin fibers were shown to align and bundle in response to the cyclic stretch. The results were compared statistically among test and control groups and it was concluded that cyclic loading causes significant alteration in mechanical properties of ECs due to remodeling of cell cytoskeleton.